India v Sri Lanka, 5th ODI, Delhi December 27, 2009

DDCA pitch panel members resign

Cricinfo staff
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The members of the pitch and ground committee of the Delhi & Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) have put in their papers after taking responsibility for the pitch fiasco which led to the abandonment of the fifth and final ODI between India and Sri Lanka at the Feroz Shah Kotla today. Chetan Chauhan, the committee's chairman and former Test player, convener Sunil Dev and curator Vijay Bahadur Mishra were among those who resigned after a meeting of top DDCA officials.

"At a meeting of senior officials of the DDCA , the chairman and members of pitch and ground committee, including the curator resigned owing moral responsibility after the abandonment of the India-Sri Lanka ODI," SP Bansal, the DDCA secretary, said in a statement.

The BCCI had also disbanded its grounds and pitches committee with immediate effect, following Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara's refusal to play on a dangerous pitch after 23.3 overs in the day. The visitors were tottering at 83 for 5 when batsman Thilina Kandamby complained to the on-field umpires, which led to an on-field conference involving match referee Alan Hurst, India's captain MS Dhoni, Sangakkara, the respective coaches - Gary Kirsten and Trevor Bayliss - and the Kotla curator.

DDCA officials, including Chauhan, who is also the vice-president, proposed that the match be played on a secondary strip, but Hurst "deemed it impractical" as it was not adequately prepared..

The recent history of the Kotla track had done little to recommend its hosting of another international fixture. The curators, both at the ground and the BCCI's head of pitches committee Daljit Singh, have on more than one occasion said that this is a freshly relaid pitch and will take time to settle in. Despite that, the ground hosted the Champions League T20 on low and slow tracks, and an ODI between India and Australia in October.